By now, if you are in Australia, you know the news. And if you’re outside of Australia, you probably know the news: Following the Australian government’s fight with big tech, one huge chunk of big tech has taken its bat and its ball, and is going home. Or, much as the phonebook would do if they were forced to pay every time somebody called their local doctor to make an appointment about that chlamydia infection that just won’t go away, Facebook has blocked news in Australia.
To coin a completely original phrase that is in no way stolen from a Prime Minister convinced that the daggy dad persona makes for optics so powerful it can distract from his political party doing little more than slut-shaming a staffer who was raped by a colleague, Facebook has unfriended Australia. What this means is that for those of us in Australia, we are unable to share, or see, any news. For anybody else in the world, you are unable to share or see any news from Australia.
While Silent Protagonist is not a big fan of big tech and the new world order of monetising our personal data, we are also not a fan of big media controlling the narrative, and the government’s insistence on protecting them. However, while Silent Protagonist, not being considered “big media,” does not stand to gain from the Government’s stance that news should be paid for; we are still a (fake) news outlet deserving of Facebook’s attention.
It is our firm belief that Facebook should hide our articles, and prevent them from sharing. Please, Mr. Zuckerberg, do the right thing and block Silent Protagonist. Despite the fact that this is the first article we have posted in almost two years, we demand to be treated with equality. We demand to be considered a real media outlet. We’re about as newsworthy and balanced as NewsCorp, and we’re more ethical to boot.
In not blocking Silent Protagonist, Facebook is calling us less of a news outlet than charities, health departments, and help services. By still being available on the platform, Mark Zuckerberg and his group of motherZuckers are actively devaluing the impact of this little media outlet. A media outlet comprising a number (two’s a number) of creatives with dreams and aspirations, and that everlasting need for recognition. A team of people deserving of being considered newsmen (only because we don’t identify as newswomen).
My colleague, Colin Roy, is a great man raising a kid in this crazy world. He has a mouth to feed, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if Facebook didn’t limit his profile to the point where he needs a nine-to-five job to do this, rather than living off his book sales?
And me? I’m not a great man, but I have two mouths to feed. I don’t have a book out, but I’m working on it. So, wouldn’t it be nice of Facebook to recognise my genius and block my articles, so I can finish my book off the back of sponsorship deals (hey Mark, happy to discuss any sponsorship opportunities Facebook has up for grabs)?
To anybody reading this and thinking that being blocked by Facebook would be a bad thing for visibility, remember this: We all have Google, and Google hasn’t blocked Australia. Yet, anyway, just give it time. So, Facebook, please do Silent Protagonist a solid and block us. Sure, this could pose a risk for this little publication, but as a great man once said:
Since Facebook won’t block us, you’ll just have to follow us.